Thanks for Participating in #GivingTuesday!
Thank you to everyone who participated in #GivingTuesday yesterday! This annual tradition of giving back the Tuesday after Thanksgiving shows that supporting one another and our communities is just as important a part of our culture as apple pie, football, and holiday shopping. Your generosity will go toward several current BCAC initiatives including helping people access quality, affordable health care.
If you didn't get a chance to donate on Giving Tuesday, you can still pitch in! Click here to donate >>
BCAC testimony regarding the naming of an interim BPS superintendent
On November 25th BCAC submitted testimony to the Bridgeport Board of Education urging the board to be swift and conscientious in appointing an interim superintendent. This is a time of unprecedented change for our school system and we need a leader who will be both stable and visionary. The 20,000 students in our schools deserve no less than a quick but careful vetting process for an interim superintendent.
Read the testimony here >>
2013 Annual Report Now Available!
Click here to read BCAC's 2013 Annual Report and learn all about what our coalition and our community has been doing to improve the well-being of Bridgeport's children and families.
Thank you to all of you who supported and participated in this work over the past year. Whether you donated money, time or ideas, your involvement has helped make this year one of the busiest years we’ve had in our 28-year history of championing children’s issues!
Read BCAC's 2013 Annual Report >>
13th Annual Children's Issues Dialogue Gathers Over 100 Community Members
Thank you to everyone who participated in the 13th annual Children's Issues Dialogue on Nov. 19th!
The event gathered over 100 members of the community, including legislators, city officials, educators, social service providers, and families to discuss ways to prevent violence.
A special thank you to Charlie Grady, Bridgeport's Project Longevity program manager for telling us about the program's holistic approach to identifying and turning around violent offenders. And thank you to Pastor Anthony Bennett and Mount Aery Baptist Church for being such wonderful hosts.
The discussions around each of the tables were unique, but certain words and themes came up again and again: community, communication, and education. We need to work together, sharing a common vision and message as we tackle this problem. We're looking forward to moving on these ideas with everyone that was at the Children's Issues Dialogue, and as an entire community.
To see photos from the event, visit our Facebook page >>
Need Healthcare? ¿Necesitan Atención Médica?
Get Help Enrolling in the New State Health Insurance Plans
If you're interested in enrolling in one of the healthcare plans on the new state healthcare marketplace, but need help sorting through the details, BCAC can help. Our two bilingual health care organizers, Mory Hernandez and Lazaro Corro Benites, are providing one-on-one support to individuals and families in Fairfield County. As a certified Assister, we can help you understand your options--and what it will cost. Enrollment is open now, so contact Mory and Lazaro to set up an appointment. They can also come speak to your employees, organization, or congregation. Call 203-549-0075.
Le podemos ayudar a inscribirse en el nuevo Plan de Salud a través del Nuevo Mercado de seguros de salud del estado.
Si usted está interesado en inscribirse en uno de los planes de salud bajo el Mercado Access Health CT la nueva reforma de salud, o si usted necesita ayuda repasando los detalles, BCAC puede ayudar. Nuestros organizadores de salud, Mory Hernández y Lázaro Corro Benites, son bilingüe y están proporcionando un apoyo individualizado a las personas y familias en el condado de Fairfield. Como Asistentes certificados, podemos ayudarle a comprender sus opciones, y cuál será el costo. A partir del 1 de octubre usted puede comenzar a incribirse. Para más información, llamen a Mory o Lázaro al 203-549-0075 para establecer una cita. Los Asistentes, también pueden ir hablar con sus empleados, organización o congregación.
Norma F. Pfriem Foundation Grants $50K to BCAC
The Norma F. Pfriem Foundation has granted BCAC $50,000 to support our community health care education and outreach campaign as well as our efforts to reach low-income families and assist them with the application process for health care insurance and other state assistance programs. The Pfriem Foundation has been a long-term partner and supporter of BCAC and has shown its commitment to improving the well-being of Bridgeport children time and again with their generous gifts. Read the full press release here.
New Census Data Shows that Bridgeport is Slow to Rebound from the Recession
Bridgeport is still struggling under the prolonged effects of the recession relative to its neighbors and the U.S. as a whole. The median income in Bridgeport is $37,571. Just down the road in Stamford it is $75,771. “That disparity shows that we’re not recovering the way the rest of the county is recovering,” says Robin Lamott Sparks, BCAC's Senior Director of Policy and Research, in this recent Hearst Media piece by Maggie Gordon.
Letter to the Editor: "Ensuring everyone knows their health care options"
There are more people in Bridgeport with no health insurance than any other city in the state. Our children aren't faring much better--an estimated 8.5 percent of Bridgeport children under the age of 18 are uninsured (compared to 3.8 percent statewide). Good physical, mental, and oral health is not only a right in and of itself, but is requisite to a child being able to thrive in other areas of his or her life, including in school. Read more about this recent finding of the U.S. Census Bureau's annual American Community Survey in our September 24th letter to the editor of the Connecticut Post.
Steep Learning Curve on New State Healthcare Exchange
Robin Lamott Sparks, BCAC's Senior Director of Policy and Research, contributed to a recent Connecticut Post article ("What, exactly, will the health care exchange cover?" 9/22/13) about the steep learning curve that many people in the Greater Bridgeport area and throughout the state will face once the state's new healthcare exchange, Access Health CT, opens enrollment in October. "It's a whole different language," she states in the article. For more on the exchange and BCAC's role assisting community members in determining if they are eligible and what their health care plan options are, click here.
No Improvement in Child Poverty Rates According to U.S. Census Bureau
On September 19th, the U.S. Census Bureau released discouraging results from its annual American Community Survey. The survey estimates that from 2011 to 2012 there was little to no improvement in the rates of child poverty both in Connecticut overall and in Bridgeport specifically. Bridgeport’s rate of child poverty still hovers around 40 percent. Sharing her reaction to the findings in an article on The Day Connecticut, Mary Pat Healy commented, "Despite the belief that the economy is recovering, it's troubling to learn that poverty levels did not improve in Connecticut between 2011 and 2012." For more on the survey’s local findings, check out Connecticut Voices for Children’s Fact Sheet.
Early Education Must Take Priority
On August 29th, the Connecticut Post ran BCAC’s letter to the editor calling for expanded access to quality early childhood education. Leaders across the nation, including President Obama, are calling for expanded early childhood education. It’s been proven to dramatically improve outcomes for children. Here in Bridgeport, more effort is needed to ensure that all children have this important developmental experience.
Read the Letter to the Editor, “Early Education Must Take Priority”.
BCAC and Career Resources Survey Bridgeport-area Job Seekers
BCAC and Career Resources Inc. have released the results of their latest annual survey conducted at the Career Resources Job Fair, held at Housatonic Community College in March. Over 500 jobseekers were surveyed and the results reveal that conditions for the area’s unemployed and underemployed workers remain problematic. Among the results: 51% of respondents reported an income of $15,000 or less; 29% say they have run out of savings; and 34% of people reported cutting back on meals.
To read the press release and the full summary of the results, click here.
Uninsured Residents Will Get Help Navigating New Healthcare Marketplace from BCAC and the Assisters Program
BCAC has been selected by Access Health CT to act as an Assister, providing one-on-one support to individuals and families to make educated decisions about their healthcare coverage during the initial Open Enrollment period of the state's new health insurance marketplace. Mory Hernandez and Lazaro Corro Benites--current, full-time, bilingual BCAC staff members who work in the area of health care policy and outreach--will act as BCAC's Assisters, helping people make the best healthcare choices for their families. Robin Lamott Sparks, BCAC's Director of Research and Policy, will act as Assister Program Supervisor for BCAC.
Learn more - read the full announcement.
NAHN CT Chapter Honors BCAC's Health Care Organizer
Lazaro Corro Benites, BCAC’s Health Care Organizer, was honored last Friday night at the first Awards and Scholarship Gala of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses Chapter of CT. Lazaro received a Community Service Award for his “outstanding contribution towards improving the health of the Hispanic Community”. Chapter President Maria Krol also presented two additional Community Service Awards and three scholarships. Felicidades to Lazaro and all the honorees and scholarship recipients!
To see photos from the evening, visit us on Facebook here.
BCAC Executive Director Honored with ABCD Community Service Award
BCAC Executive Director Mary Pat Healy was honored and delighted to receive the Community Service Award at Action for Bridgeport Community Development's (ABCD) 49th annual meeting last week!
And she was in wonderful company: ABCD presented Community Service Awards to Senator Andres Ayala, Roosevelt High School Principal Tania Kelley, and retired police officer Ted Meekins as well. (Mary Pat remembers Officer Meekins and his partner Ed Hall, both motorcycle policemen, as heroes when she was a kid growing up in Bridgeport.)
Mary Pat also shared the stage with 30 high school students from across the region who received ABCD college scholarships at the event. BCAC congratulates all these young people on a great start to their college careers!
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Upcoming Events & Meetings
Community Forum on School Climate: January 7th, Housatonic Community College. More details to come.
full calendar »